Antony is a 2018 film about a cop who wakes up to find himself trapped in his car which is buried in the earth. Even as he tries to make an escape, his father and his girlfriend are trying to trace his whereabouts by going after the men who might have a reason to kidnap him.
The film begins with Antony (Nishanth), a cop, waking up to discover that he is trapped in a car that is buried under the earth. He cannot remember how he ended up this way, and tries to figure out who among the many men whom he has rubbed the wrong way could be behind this, and also how to get out of this precarious situation. Meanwhile, his father, George (Lal), and girlfriend Maha (Vaishali), who is waiting for him at the registrar’s office, to get married, begin a search, going through the people who might want Antony out of their way.
The survival thriller-meets-whodunit premise of Antony, which is being publicised as Tamil cinema’s first claustrophobic thriller, is filled with promise, but the execution is quite terrible that it takes away any amount of interest one might have in seeing how the plot unfolds. Kutii Kumar intercuts the attempts of Antony to get out with the search of George, but the transitions between these two plot lines are so random that it doesn’t do justice to either of these tracks. We never get a sense of how Antony is plotting his escape; all we get are split screens that the editor seems to have opted for simply because they look fanciful. In George’s track, we mainly get shots of his car winding through the hill roads (the setting is Kodaikanal) and him and Maha peering intently outside the window. We also get a completely unnecessary sub-plot in which a gangster with a grouse against Antony kidnaps Maha. This does the film no favour other than adding to the duration. Similarly, the ending is conveyed pretty early by way of background announcement on radio, so we lose interest even in the whodunit aspect. The innumerable slow-motion shots also indicate a lack of imagination – and we are left with the feeling a 15-minute short film that has been extended to feature length.
The only takeaway for the audience is the somewhat slick cinematography, with a couple of memorable visuals – a fire being put out, a torchlight being covered by mud. As for the music (by Sivathmika, a 17-year-old), it is so intrusive and irritating. In the end, it is us who feel claustrophobic by the end of the film as there is no way out.